I first moved to Jacksonville to attend college.
The out-of-state tuition required a great deal of student loans. The area was a huge change from where I grew up in the northeast. I was delighted by the palm trees and non-stop sunshine. It was such a relief to leave behind sub zero temperatures and blizzard conditions. Once I graduated from college, I stayed to complete my graduate work. After that, I was still reluctant to leave. I love the opportunities of the sprawling city and proximity to the ocean. I am currently renting a very small, cramped apartment with outdated appliances, an air conditioner that barely works and plumbing issues. There isn’t sufficient hot water, the kitchen faucet leaks and there’s minimal water pressure. I check the Jacksonville real estate availability nearly every day. On Saturdays, I attend every possible open house and tour properties for sale. I’ve visited homes in Avondale, San Marco, Riverside and just about every safe neighborhood. Most of the properties are far beyond the limits of my budget. Although I managed to land a job in my field, it’s an entry level position. I’m not making all that much, but there is great potential for upward mobility. In the meantime, I’m struggling to pay off student loans and don’t have a lot of borrowing power. The homes that I can afford aren’t all that appealing. They typically have major problems with the roofing, heating/cooling, electrical or plumbing systems. I don’t want to take on a home that requires tons of investment into repairs.